UK soap Coronation Street raises awareness of modern slavery

Coronation Street fans may have picked up on one of the latest storylines – giving an insight into one of the most serious and barbaric crimes, profiting from human exploitation.

The ITV soap is following the story of Alina, a young manicurist, who has been trafficked into the UK.

In a recent episode, Alina, played by Ruxandra Porojnicu, becomes extremely uncomfortable after noticing builder Jan Lozinski inside a restaurant where she is on a date with boyfriend Seb Franklin.

The series explores themes of modern slavery, human trafficking and work exploitation – issues that charity Hope for Justice is working to fight against on a daily basis.

Part of our work involves investigating potential cases of modern slavery, with our teams of experts working alongside the police to expose crime and assist with raids.

Slavery isn’t just happening overseas; it is happening here in the UK, right under our noses, in manual labour and construction firms, at car washes, in nail bars, massage parlours and hotels, to name a few.

We are proud to be working alongside the police and other agencies to respond to this crime and to rescue victims who are trapped in often very complex situations.

Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod said: “This is one of the biggest hidden scandals in the UK today. Our research has shown us that in many towns and cities across Britain, people are being forced to work against their will, living in extreme poverty and in fear for their safety, all so ruthless criminal gangs can get rich at their expense.

“We are keen to highlight that slavery hides in plain sight – the salon which does your nails for a too-good-to-be-true price, the car wash which valets your hatchback for half the going rate… these could all be staffed by people who are being coerced, threatened and exploited.“

Ben Cooley, Hope for Justice CEO, said: “We’re working all over the UK and in various locations across the globe to tackle this issue and bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society. But we can’t do it alone.